An idea that originated in Denmark, The Human Library is now available in 85 countries, and 6 continents across the globe. The initiative is based on the recognition that, the more stories we hear, the better able we are to place ourselves in the shoes of others. That we need safe spaces to ask difficult questions. And, as critically, that stereotypes can be more effectively challenged when we hear real stories from real people rather than statistics or media comment.
A project launched in 2000, it runs under the banner of ‘Unjudge Someone’, with ‘books of the month’ that focus on societal topics and an ongoing invitation to all people with stories that defy the norm to get in contact and ‘get published’.
In last week’s big read we shared research highlighting the value of fiction in building social skills: something many of us find knocked by menopause. But, as this project highlights, stories are also critical in challenging perceptions and, ultimately, changing the world.
It’s something that could be really useful when exploring the collective power we have, as individuals transitioning through menopause too. MPowder was born out of the belief that midlife can be a superpower. And that, if we have the tools to harness our hormones, a stepping up point, not a fading away. Interestingly, when others describe ‘what makes MPowder different’, it is this philosophy; built on the real stories you share every day, that they point to.
My reflection? We need to keep telling our stories to those that are ready to listen. The stories we inherited as well as our own lived experience. Because, by doing so we’re inviting society to ‘unjudge’ menopause; to rethink prejudices about a female’s worth as she ages, to reevaluate beauty. We’re enabling people who love us, respect us..to walk a mile in our shoes. To have a window into the ups and downs of the journey. To empathise and support. And to share their stories too. That is when worlds rebalance. And real change happens.
Keep talking! And if you’re curious about the work of The People Library and borrowing a real story or perhaps applying to tell yours, check out their up and coming events HERE.
With love Rebekah & The MPowder Team
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